Joshua Blankenship on Taking a Break

Workaholics will eventually kill long term team productivity. Lone wolf heroes on the permanent all-nighter schedule are toxic. Find your threshold. Go somewhere sunny. Or just go home for the day. Don’t pull your team down because you refuse to take a break.

I completely agree with Joshua, and believe that this very principle played a part in my leaving Connexus in 2008.

However, this principle doesn’t only play itself out over the long term; people need to step away from what they are doing part way through the day as well.

I used to eat my lunch at my desk, in front of my computer. I normally would read RSS feeds at this time, but if there was work that was urgent I would work on it while eating. I also was available to be called away from my desk, sometimes leaving my food behind for up to an hour while I attend to things that really weren’t that urgent.

That changed when I read Jorge’s advice back in April:

“Never take your break where you work”

So simple, but it dramatically improved both my lunch time as well as my day as a whole. Suddenly I had more energy coming out of my lunch than I did before, and all because I simply took a break.